Junior captain Mike Dermody knew this weekend that the UR football team had a chance at redemption.
“After the loss at [the Worcester Polytechnic Institute], the mood going into last weeks practice was complete focus,” Dermody said. “We knew that we had played a terrible game and we needed to get back on track.”
The Yellowjackets did just that as they followed an impressive ground attack to a 37-9 victory over the United States Coast Guard Academy. The win over Coast Guard moved them to a 4-4 record overall and a 3-2 in Liberty League play.
The UR ground game managed to ring up over 250 yards on the ground and accounted for three of the team’s scores.
The unit was spearheaded by sophomore running back Pat O’Brien, who led all rushers with 123 yards on 18 carries, including a nine-yard touchdown run.
Freshman Matt Bielecki added another 64 yards on 13 carries.
Junior quarterback Aaron Molisani continues his impressive play by producing a four-touchdown game for the third time this season. Molisani ran the ball 17 times for 72 yards and, in addition, had 123 yards on 18 of 24 passing for the day.
Three of Molisani’s scores came on the ground, including a 48-yard scramble in the third quarter.
Molisani contributed his fourth score of the game when he hit junior wideout David Ferris on a six-yard touchdown pass.
Senior Kevin Toolan, who amassed 60 yards on four catches, led the receiving corps.
Ferris caught four passes for 32 yards.
Freshman place kicker Rob Corey completed UR’s scoring with a late 24-yard field goal, his fifth of the season.
Defensively, UR dominated the game, holding Coast Guard to a total of 10 net rushing yards.
To Dermody, the defense’s success was keyed by the memory of last week’s mistakes.
“The strong defensive performance was keyed because of the WPI game we knew that we should have dominated there, but we didn’t, so we went out against Coast Guard with a different mentality,” Dermody said.
Junior linebacker Matt Simon led the defense. Simon’s five tackles, including three sacks, made him the Liberty League’s sack leader.
Dermody and sophomore linebacker Peter Kim-Nji also contributed five tackles.
To Dermody, this dominating performance was key for UR to get back to form.
“We knew that we gave the game to WPI, but dominating Coast Guard was important for our confidence.”
UR is currently tied for third in the UAA conference with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which the Yellowjackets will host on Saturday.The Yellowjackets will clinch third place in the Liberty League with a victory on Saturday.
If the Yellowjackets lose to RPI, they will clinch fourth place in the conference if they defeat Hobart College next week and WPI loses at least one of two remaining games.
That confidence will be put to the test as RPI visits Fauver Stadium this weekend for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Allard can be reached at email@example.com.